Gardening has been a long standing influence on fashion. Finding its roots in the 1720s, this trend has paired itself seamlessly with how we dress up. From the Vivianne Westwood’s Gold label collection S/S 2016 to Alexander McQueen’s A/W 2012 collection, haute couture and horticulture go hand in hand.
The magic relation between the two fields is evident in painting from ancient Egypt and the Chahar-bagh garden designs of Persia and India which inspired carpets. Jacobean heiress, Lettice Newdigate in a portrait wears a dress that has patterns from her own garden.
Fashion designing institutes have often encouraged its students to look at their own gardens for inspirations. Nature is a boundless source of inspiration, making patterns resembling flowers to embroidery patterns of delicate wines. A simple flower can inspire colour combination to motifs for creating prints or embroidery.
To begin with let’s do a little project of our own.
Sketch the idea.
The first and the most important step is to sketch the design with detailed notes. You need to plan beforehand if you are going to use artificial flowers and shrubs or real ones. The detailed sketch will help you decide the placement of these flowers and leaves.
The frame and the corset.
The next step is to make a corset and a sturdy frame for the skirt. Depending on your design the length and shape of both must be decided. The foundation should be strong as on these you will attach all the flowers, leaves etc.
College for fashion design teaches students how to make corsets and also the metal frame skirts that act as a foundation for elaborate gowns.
The building of the dress.
Now it’s very important for you to patiently start arranging and attaching your elements on the frame. It is best to drape to corset and skirt on the mannequin and then start setting the design. As you are arranging your floral design make sure to let the design draw a flow in pattern and create focal points by colour blocking and highlighting with flowers.
Elements of designs are taught extensively in fashion designing institutes as they are the foundations of a good design. Without considering these the whole garment falls apart.
The big reveal.
After few hours of hard work, your dress will look just like you sketched. You can make a few accessories like a headpiece with the similar flowers and shrubs you used for the dress. The time you spend making the dress won’t matter once it’s complete. It’s a bit overwhelming to see how simple yet pretty elements from your garden can turn into a magnificent dress.
All fashion designing colleges in Hyderabad undertake projects like this. They want students to be able to see how everyday things they see can be a source of inspiration for great designs.
Why not take inspiration from Valentino’s Garden Gate jacket or Marie-Jeanne Rose Bertin’s dresses for Marie Antoinette and create your own stunning design.